Derry City 0, Bray Wanderers 5
BRAY WANDERERS romped to an emphatic victory over Derry City at Maginn Park as they moved to within a point of their fourth place rivals.
It was an embarrassing night for the Candystripes who have now shipped 15 goals in their last four fixtures, scoring just once as they slumped to a fourth consecutive defeat in all competitions.
On a night when legendary City striker, Alex Krstic was presented to the attendance on his first return since the late 1980s, his presence did little to inspire Kenny Shiels' troops.
Goals from Darragh Noone, Ryan Brennan, Gary McCabe and a brace from the superb, Aaron Greene secured the win while Aaron McEneff missed a late penalty to cap a forgettable night for the home side.
Chances were at a premium in the opening stages but when Ronan Curtis worked his way into the box on 14 minutes, he pulled it back to Rory Patterson whose strike was deflected behind after an excellent block by Keith Buckley.
Gary McCabe unlocked the City defence with a sublime pass on 20 minutes which played Greene in behind and the striker dinked the ball over the advancing Gerard Doherty to give the Seagulls the lead.
Derry's first attempt on goal arrived on 33 minutes and it needed a superb save from Bray goalkeeper, Peter Cherrie to maintain the visitor's lead. Aaron McEneff's cross was flicked on to the back post by Patterson and Aaron Barry's effort at the back post was turned behind by Cherrie.
The hosts were then stunned by two quickfire goals as Bray picked the Derry defence off on the break.
Keith Buckley picked up the ball on the right flank on 36 minutes and got in behind Ben Doherty before squaring the ball into the path Darragh Noone who slotted into the corner of the net.
And less than 60 seconds later Bray added a third as Brennan burst forward into space and finished expertly past the advancing Doherty from just inside the penalty box.
Patterson dragged a free-kick harmlessly wide from a promising position on the edge of the Bray area as the half-time interval approached.
City were gifted a glorious chance two minutes after the break when Patterson found himself one-on-one with the keeper who got a strong hand to his low strike to put it behind.
Nicky Low found Patterson with a neat ball to feet on the edge of the 18 yard box but the City striker's well struck shot was deflected over the bar by the outstretched leg of Cherrie.
The Co. Wicklow men found the back of the net for a fourth time on 57 minutes as McCabe blasted into the corner after Brennan's shot struck the foot of the post.
Greene raced through on 79 minutes and finished with aplomb to add to City's miserable evening - his second of the night.
Derry's teenage defender, Eoin Toal was denied a consolation goal when his strije was cleared on the line moments later.
Darragh Noone pulled down Schubert inside the area two minutes from time and the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped McEneff and he blasted the spotkick over the bar to sum up City's night.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty: Conor McDermott, Eoin Toal, Aaron Barry, Ben Doherty; Jamie McIntyre (Lukas Schubert 70), Nicky Low, Aaron McEneff, Ronan Curtis (Josef Dolny 57); Barry McNamee; Rory Patterson: Subs Not Used - Eric Grimes, Harry Monaghan, Micky Place, Cathal Farren, Sam Todd.
Bray Wanderers: Peter Cherrie; Keith Buckley, Conor Kenna (Hugh Douglas 67), Tim Clancy, Karl Moore; Ryan Brennan, John Sullivan, Darragh Noone, Jason Marks (Kevin Lynch 77); Gary McCabe; Aaron Greene (Ger Pender 82); Subs Not Used - Lee Steacy, Derek Foran, Luke Rossiter, Jake Ellis.
Referee - Neil Doyle.